gate openers

Things You Didn’t Know We Stock: Gate Openers

In addition to the Southland’s largest supply of in-stock metal, Industrial Metal Supply carries a number of essentials that make us the one-stop shop for any metal project. One of these is our range of gate openers and driveway gate accessories manufactured by Eagle Access Control Systems.

We understand that fence contractors, welding fabricators and gate manufacturing professionals need to remain competitive, yet keep costs down. You’ve created the perfect wrought iron, aluminum, or other gate for a home or commercial property, but now you need the finishing touch – an automatic gate opener to ensure security and/or privacy.

With Eagle Access products’ innovative designs, best-in-class warranties and rugged, durable equipment, you get a reliable opener that works every time.
Features include:

  • Sliding gates for residential, commercial and commercial overhead use
  • Swinging gate openers for residential, light commercial and commercial use
  • Gate openers ranging from 10’ to 50’ wide
  • State-of-the-art diamond control board
  • Quick release for operation during power outage
  • Smooth and powerful operation
  • Best-in-Class 5-year warranty

Swinging Gate Openers

Eagle swing gate openers are available in residential, light commercial and commercial sizes. The smaller operators are built for gates starting at 14 ft. wide (or 300 lbs.) and the larger commercial models will work with gates up to 24 ft. wide (or 1000 lbs.).

swing gate opener

Gate Slide Operators

Eagle slide gate operators are available in residential, commercial and commercial overhead sizes. The smaller openers are built for gates starting at 16 ft. wide (or 300 lbs.) and the larger commercial models will work with gates up to 50 ft. wide (or 2500 lbs.).

gate opener

Driveway Gate Accessories

At IMS, we stock all the driveway gate accessories you need for fast, easy access and safe, secure closure. Whether you’re installing a new gate or upgrading your existing one, whether you’ve got a sliding or a swinging model, we have the best driveway gate accessories you’ll find anywhere.

Gate accessory options include:

  • Automatic gate remotes
  • Fire boxes
  • Lock boxes
  • Chain
  • Antennas/receivers
  • and more.

Contact Us for Driveway Gate Slide Operators, Gate Swing Operators & More

Industrial Metal Supply is the Southwest’s largest metal supplier, with a huge inventory of metal products of all types. With IMS, you can get all the gate opener components & accessories you need in one stop—including sliding and swinging gate openers, and V groove wheels and gate tracksContact us to order your driveway gate slide operators, accessories and more today.

How to Keep Knives Sharp

How to Keep Your Knives Sharpened

The age-old question of how to sharpen a knife is critical to chefs, barbers, hunters and fishermen, survivalists, and DIYers. Sharpening metal edges requires an abrasive material that is harder than the metal itself – in the form of ceramic or tiny mono- or polycrystalline man-made diamonds glued together to create a sharpening stone.

Sharpening vs. Honing

There’s a difference between honing and sharpening metal knives, and some experts suggest honing a knife every time you use it. Honing doesn’t file down the metal – it just straightens and re-aligns the edge of the blade, removing any microscopic pieces of steel that may have chipped off during use. The sharpening process actually removes metal from the blade by grinding it down to form a beveled edge.


You can try an electric knife-sharpening machine, but generally, those tend to take more metal off your knife than is necessary. Hand sharpening requires a few specialized tools and takes some practice to achieve good results.

Sharpening stones or tools come in a range of grits, and you generally work from coarse to fine to get the sharpest edge.

There are two basic methods to sharpen a knife: hold the knife blade steady and swipe it with a sharpening tool, or fox a flat sharpening stone in place and move the blade across it at the desired angle.

Hold the stone (or the blade) at the correct angle (see below) and starting at the base, pull it towards you in a curving motion, pressing down firmly. Repeat the motion several times on both sides to create an even bevel.

You can eyeball the angle or you can buy one of several different styles of sharpening sets which provide a guide that takes out some of the guesswork, making a more consistent bevel angle along the entire length of the blade.

Choose your Angle

In general, the smaller the bevel angle on a blade, the sharper the edge. But the tradeoff is that a very sharp edge will dull more quickly. For filleting a bass or trout, you need a very sharp edge, so you might sharpen it to an angle of 15 degrees to 17 degrees. A survival knife used for many different types of cutting needs a durable edge, with a bevel of 25 degrees or more. Kitchen knives require precision and are usually sharpened to about 20 degrees.

The Leather Strop

One last step to the entire process is to use a leather strop, which helps remove any microscopic burrs left over from the sharpening process. You may want to use a diamond spray or stropping compound spread on the leather, which helps remove any leftover particles.

Tool steel bar, as the name suggests, is often used to produce tools, including knives. Tool steel is known for its extreme hardness, as well as its abrasion resistance and ability to hold a cutting edge at high temps.

Industrial Metal Supply offers tool steel bar in O-1 and A-2 grades, in square, round, and rectangular cross-sections.

Metal Pipe or Plastic Pipe

Choosing the Right Material: Metal Piping vs Plastic Piping

When planning your next plumbing project, you need to evaluate the various types of pipe for the job. Although stainless steel and brass tubing could be used, most projects will be completed with galvanized metal, copper tubing, or some sort of plastic pipes for plumbing applications.

Lead pipes and lead solder used on copper pipes have been outlawed since 1986, so any new plumbing projects should not cause further problems with lead poisoning, although some types of plastic may absorb chemical contaminants coming from the water system. According to Chemical & Engineering News, all types of pipe materials can impart taste and odors to drinking water, which often can be mitigated by flushing the system.

Benefits of Plastic Pipe

Plastic piping can be made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) or PEX (cross-linked polyethylene). In general, plastic pipe doesn’t rust or corrode, is light in weight, easy to cut and easy to join – no welding required.

PVC piping is a good, low-cost choice for many plumbing projects. It is easy to install, with a range of different methods for joining, such as clamps, mechanical couplings, or solvent welding. PVC outdoor lines can be buried, though they might need extra care to prevent collapse. The main drawback of using PVC piping is that it can’t withstand high temperatures. This means you can’t use it for hot water lines and it’s not rated for drinking water, due to possible heat degradation of the plastic.

CPVC pipe has all the benefits of PVC pipe, plus the added chlorine gives it a higher heat resistance. It is also rated for drinking water, and is flexible, fire resistant, and well insulated to prevent energy loss for either hot or cold water.

PEX tubing resists high heat and is commonly used for radiant hot water heating systems and drinking water lines, though it can’t be directly connected to a hot water heater and requires a short section of copper tubing in between. It is highly flexible, so it can be easily installed through walls and around corners. PEX lasts for decades and withstands freezing temperatures well, resisting cracks due to freezing and thawing of water in the lines.

Benefits of Metal Pipe

Historically, most piping was made from brass, copper, cast iron, or some other metal. Brass and copper have innate corrosion resistance, which makes them excellent choices, but even these have seen problems when the pipes begin to age over decades, often due to lead in the solder used to connect them.

One of the most widely used materials on Earth, steel provides outstanding strength, toughness, and durability. It is a versatile, cost-effective solution for water/sewer plumbing and pipeline systems.

Galvanized Steel Pipe vs. Black Steel Pipe

Galvanized steel pipe features a protective zinc coating that helps prevent corrosion, rust, and the buildup of mineral deposits, thereby extending the pipe’s lifespan. Galvanized steel pipe is most commonly used in plumbing and other water-supply applications. In addition, galvanized pipes are a lower cost alternative to steel, and can achieve rust free protection for up to 30 years while maintaining comparable strength with a durable surface coating.

Black steel pipe contains a dark-colored iron-oxide coating on its entire surface and is used for applications that do not require galvanization protection. Black steel pipe is used primarily for transporting water and gas in rural and urban areas and for delivering high-pressure steam and air. It is commonly used in fire sprinkler systems thanks to its high heat resistance. Black steel pipe is also popular for other water transfer applications, including potable water from wells, as well as in gas lines.

304 Stainless Steel Pipe

304 stainless steel pipe also can be used for transporting liquids. Stainless offers high corrosion resistance, superior durability, high strength-to-weight ratio, fair resistance to thermal and electrical conductivity, ease of fabrication, ease of cleaning, and it is non-magnetic and harden-able by cold working.

Brass Tube/Pipe

Though brass piping is an older material, it’s still used today for water supply and drain lines, as well as gas lines. Brass, an alloy made of copper and zinc, is highly resistant to corrosion, and as long as a lead-free brass alloy is chosen, it should be safe for drinking water. Because it is a fairly soft metal, brass tube/pipe can be installed with a tight seal, preventing leaks.

Industrial Metal Supply carries 304 stainless steel pipe as well as brass and copper tubing and galvanized, coated and uncoated steel pipe. We offer steel pipe products in a range of standard diameters and lengths, including diameters from 1/4-in. to 6-in. and lengths up to 21 ft., as well as cut-to-length services to meet your specific requirements.
Stop by any of our six locations in California and Arizona to check out our inventory, or request a quote for your application.

what you didn't know about structural steel

What You Don’t Know About Structural Steel

Structural steel beams form the backbone of many construction projects. But what is structural steel and how is it used?

Many people don’t know that structural steel is not one single alloy. Different concentrations of alloying elements are added to accomplish different objectives. Here are some of the most commonly found structural steel alloys:

Cold Rolled ASTM-A1008 is a low carbon steel material that comes in formed shapes such as channel and angle, for general structural applications. The additional steps for cold rolling give the steel a finer finish and improved dimensional accuracy.

Hot rolled (HR) ASTM-A36 mild (low-carbon) steel contains up to 27% carbon – more than standard mild steel. It has a minimum yield point of 36K, and is easily weldable and formable. It is one of the most widely used structural steels in a range of applications, including support frames, machinery and equipment braces, and transportation frames. HR A36 is also available in Galvanized form, for added corrosion resistance.

Hot rolled (HR) ASTM-A529 Grade 50 steel is stronger than A36, meeting the standard of 50K minimum yield strength. This steel is used for supports and structural components in bridges, buildings and other structures requiring increased strength. It can be welded, bolted, riveted, machined and fabricated easily.

Structural Cross Sections

Structural steel comes in different cross sections, including channel, angle, beam, and tee. These cross sectional shapes can either be formed or welded. Because they’re available in a huge variety of sizes and styles, steel structural shapes are used to build everything from furniture to skyscrapers. Common applications include:

  • Marine piers
  • Architecture & building construction
  • Shipbuilding
  • Truck trailers & shipping containers
  • Furniture
  • Heavy equipment
  • and more

Steel Angle Shape

Angle – Steel angle is available in different grades, including Cold Rolled ASTM A-1008, Hot Rolled ASTM-A36 Steel Angle, and Galvanized A36. Steel angle is used for a wide range of applications, including construction equipment, farm implements, manufacturing and repair, and fabrication. Its 90° angled shape adds an abundance of strength and rigidity to numerous projects and it is easy to weld, cut, form and machine.

Tee Shape

Tee – The “T” shape of hot rolled steel tee makes it favorable for applications where large loading bearing capabilities are a must, including fabrication, manufacturing, frames, trailers, etc. The top (flange) provides compressive stress resistance while the vertical section (web) resists shear stresses and bending. This product is also easy to weld, cut, form and machine.

Channel Shape

Channel – Steel channel can be constructed with cold rolled mild steel, hot rolled mild steel or hot rolled ASTM-A36 steel alloy. The interior may be fabricated with radius corners or 90° angled corners. Hot rolled steel channel has a mild steel structural C shape with inside radius corners that are ideal for all types of structural applications. The shape of this product is also ideal for added strength and rigidity over steel angle when a project’s load is vertical or horizontal, and can be easily welded, cut, formed and machined.

Beam Shape

Beam – Hot rolled steel I-beams provide great load bearing support when used horizontally or standing as columns. They are also used regularly throughout the construction industry when heavy load support is required, such as bridges and skyscrapers.

Industrial Metal Supply offers a full line of durable, long-lasting, and versatile structural steel shapes, including steel channel, steel angle, steel beams, and steel tees, a range of standard sizes and lengths. We also provide cut-to-length services as needed to give you steel shapes that match your design requirements.

Tips to Advance Welding Skills

7 Tips to Advance your Welding Skills

Whatever your project – whether mending a metal fence or repairing teeth on a backhoe bucket, the following advanced welding tips will help you get the job done faster, and with less waste and effort.

1. Make Good Use of Magnets

Choose from a wide range of specialized magnets or clamps to use as “third hands.” These can securely hold welding tabs, brackets or gussets to the workpiece, lids on a box, or corners perpendicular during the welding process. Use an adjustable welding table to support smaller items. Don’t remove magnets until the weld has completely cooled, so that the hot metal doesn’t shrink and ruin the alignment.

2. Welding Out of Position

If you can’t fix your workpiece in a comfortable, flat welding position using magnets and clamps, it’s important to remember that the weld puddle may drip. If welding overhead, move quickly and steadily using a circular motion but keep the puddle narrow. To allow the puddle to cool faster, maintain a lower electrode temperature by reversing polarity, and use less voltage so that the puddle remains small.

3. Completely Clean Out the Area to Be Repaired

Impurities such as oil, grease, dust, and moisture, can cause problems later if they are absorbed into the metal. Clean out the area thoroughly using a sander or wire brush and wipe away any debris. If repairing cracks, grind them out with a grinder before welding. Where the shape and size of the crack make it impossible to reach the bottom, use a slower welding speed, which allows time for impurities, such as hydrogen bubbles, to rise to the surface before they become trapped.

4. Beware of Hydrogen

Hydrogen is the enemy, when it comes to welding. Certain metals, such as high-strength steel, are more susceptible to hydrogen cracking, which may occur long after the weld is completed. Welding thick or highly restrained pieces can also cause cracking. Before welding, seek and destroy any alien material, such as paint, dust, or grease. Then preheat the metal before, during, and even after welding for a few hours. This slows down the cooling time so that more hydrogen can escape before the metal solidifies.

5. Bead-Laying Tips

With stick welding, it’s important to run a straight bead by keeping an even travel speed – and maintain the angle of the rod so that the slag trails behind. When you get to the end of the weld, run the rod back in the other direction an inch or so, in order to prevent a crater developing that could crack later.

6. Choose the Best Electrode for the Job

For general use stick welding, choose a 6011 electrode, but for thinner material, go with a 6013. Rod diameter should be higher for thicker metal and smaller for thinner stock.

In the case of high-carbon or other high-alloy steels that are harder to weld, it’s important to use low-hydrogen electrodes. Be sure to leave them in the package until the last minute, to expose them to air for as short a time as possible.

7. Be Aware of Aluminum Welding Differences

When welding aluminum, different materials and techniques are required. Aluminum should be welded with either a TIG or MIG process. Before welding, remove oxides from the aluminum surface using a stainless steel brush and solvents. These oxides have a very high melting temperature, which can inhibit the filler from welding with the metal. Use only argon-helium or argon gas to shield the weld. Preheat the area, but don’t overheat, which could cause burn-through. At the end of the weld, don’t leave a crater, which will inevitably lead to cracking. Instead back weld for an inch or so.

For all your welding supplies, including tools, consumables, and accessories, visit Industrial Metal Supply.